Just for Dads ~ May 2021

by Ward Williams
Executive director, Vineyard Family Services

Gatlinburg: The Great Smoky Mountains provide beautiful, scenic views, but there’s one thing Ward Williams questions about this popular destination.

What do you think of when you think of the Great Smoky Mountains State Park and Gatlinburg area? If you say beautiful scenery, I agree. If you say lots of tourist attractions, I agree. A great place for families? Yes! Just don’t tell me there are bears in the Smoky Mountains.

The idea that there are bears in the Smoky Mountains is part of a propaganda program between Tennessee tourism and the National park system. I feel like I am an expert on the Smoky Mountains. I have been there for 10 vacations and have hiked miles and miles at the National Park. I have looked and looked hard, but I have never seen a bear.

This is my truth, and my truth matters. My truth matters, and if you tell me my truth is not true or it doesn’t matter, then you are a simpleton, softhead, and a nincompoop.

I write stuff on social media. You should trust me: I have had a social media space since Myspace, and I write this article, which means I should be trusted. We take social media posts as the truth based on a whole lot less than 10 experiences.

Who do you take advice from? We look to Google reviews for guidance, even though many Google posts are often paid for. We often take advice from others with motives that are not in our best interest. We should be careful who we are really listening to.

In Proverbs 18:6-7, it warns that, “The lips of fools bring them strife, and their mouths invite a beating. The mouths of fools are their undoing, and their lips are a snare to their very lives.”

When you take on bad advice or adopt bad truths, the results can be catastrophic for you and your family. In two different sermons in the same week, I heard the Bible verse Jeremiah 6:16, which stays, “This is what the LORD says: ‘Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your soul.’”

There is rest in following wise counsel and weariness chasing new paths without wisdom. May you find the truth that brings you rest from weariness and heavy burden.

Ward Williams is the founder and executive director of Vineyard Family Services. Contact him at ward@vfsdads.com.

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